Feeds

Skype reverse-engineered and open sourced

How soon will Microsoft blow?

Boost IT visibility and business value

There have been many analyses of Skype’s behaviour over the years (the most famous perhaps is from Baset and Schultzrinne), but as far as Vulture Central is aware, nobody has yet gone so far as to reverse-engineer the whole kit-and-caboodle.

That’s the claim being made by Efim Bushmanov on this blog, where he offers his reverse-engineered Skype source code available for download.

His work is almost certain to spark debate over the legality – and license-compliance – of reverse-engineering the software. It’s also quite likely to spark a response from Skype’s new owner, Microsoft.

The Register has not yet had the time to install or test the code (if that were, in fact, legal to do), so we can’t vouch for its operation.

Whether Bushmanov has broken any laws or breached any license terms depends on the conditions under which he’s undertaken the project (and to some extent, the jurisdiction in which he worked).

It’s hard to replicate perfectly the behaviour of any software under completely clean-room conditions, and probably even harder to prove that such conditions existed. Bushmanov would at the very least have to demonstrate that he worked without a copy of the software to hand – that somebody else ran the software and observed its behaviours. The authors of the reverse-engineered copy would have to write their software solely from Skype’s reported behaviour under different conditions.

According to this discussion on Hacker News, Bushmanov seems to be including original Skype binaries in its downloads, which would be a no-no. However, HN’s interpretation is based on the filenames rather than the contents of the files; perhaps Bushmanov simply didn’t have the nous to give his files names that weren’t subject to confusion.

The Register does however anticipate a swift response from Microsoft, if the software is what it claims to be. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?